Dying mother sees son graduate from hospital bed

Special ceremony held three days early

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It's graduation day for James Hoile, as he proudly puts on his cap and gown.

"It's here, it's happening. But I'm really happy about it," he said.

But this ceremony also comes with much sadness.

Because it's taking place inside a small room at St. Anthony's hospital in St. Petersburg, where his mother Kim is dying of cancer.

"She's an awesome mom, one that anyone could ever dream to have. Back from when I was just this big, playing football to even now," said James.

Kim's been fighting cancer for a year and her family knew she wouldn't be able to attend Monday's graduation at Tropicana Field.

"Seeing the smile that's going to be on her face. It's gonna be awesome," said Kim's husband, TJ.

Friends and family crammed into the limited space for the big moment.

"Congratulations, this is a symbol of your graduation from Pinellas Park high school," principal John Johnston said as he handed James the diploma.

Kim is dealing with a lot of pain, but still found the strength to smile and hold her son's hand tightly.

"I'm hoping that she was comprehending everything, and that's what I'm going to keep in my mind and be able to hold on to," said James.

James plans to walk at the full graduation ceremony Monday. But nothing will beat this day.

James has his diploma -- and shared the moment with his mother.

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